If Jesus lived, he lived in obscurity and was not the celebrity the gospels pretend he was


Christians like to argue that the gospels were well known soon after being written and thus must be true for nobody refuted them or said they were nonsense. This is the pivot of their argument that Jesus really existed and really died on a cross and really rose from the dead. It only works if Jesus was a popular well-known man. He was not.


Another reason it does not work is that literacy was a problem. 


The records from the early centuries show that few literate and educated people became members of the Christian religion. This is why even now the worship is about reading to the people not having the people read.  That is a hanger on from the time when the Bible was selectively read to people who were barely listening and who did not see the context or understand what they were hearing correctly.


Perhaps about ten to twenty percent of the people had “some form of basic literacy, but only about two percent could be regarded as fluent and sophisticated literates capable of reading and understanding the great works of Greek and Latin literature.” See Herring, Introduction to the History of Christianity  Shiner, Proclaiming the Gospel at 11 (citing Harris, Ancient Literacy at 22, 272, 259 (may have been as low as three percent); Dunn, Jesus Remembered at 314 (citing C. Hezser, Jewish Literature in Roman Palestine (Tubingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2001) at 496-97); Dever, The Lives of Ordinary People in Ancient Israel at 225 (“most authorities estimate that no more than about 1 percent of the population of Israel and Judah in the Iron Age was literate”).

Yet another problem arises from the time when the gospels existed.  Freeman, A New Early History of Christianity at 22 (“it would certainly be unusual to find living eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life after AD 60 and it would be a matter of chance as to whether any of these survivors could provide accurate and valuable information”).

The gospels go on as if Jesus was as well known and as popular as tea bags are today (Matthew 4:23-25; Matthew 21; John 6:10; John 12:19). His parable of the mustard seed which he thought was the smallest seed in the world shows how little an impact he was claiming to be making and he said the seed would later grow to make a huge tree.

Jesus was a heretic according to the standards adhered to by the Jews and the Law enforced the murder of heretics (Deuteronomy 13, 18). The Jews Jesus moralised at were more than keen to comply (Luke 4:28-30; John 11:48; Acts 7:54-60). Jesus showed he thought himself to be Christ from his baptism (John 1) and the Bible says he never lied so he had to admit he was the Messiah if that is what he was. Moreover, false messiahs could drive Rome to destroy the nation (John 11:48). The Jews could not afford to let Jesus live. If there had been a Jesus he would have been assassinated by a lone assassin. That way the Jews would not have needed to resort to the scandal of getting Jesus crucified or getting the blame.

Rome could not let Jesus live or go about freely even if he were only a spiritual king for that could be a cover for subversive activity for once he had the crowd under his spell he could display another side to his character and start off a rebellion. Since 6 AD there had been so much turbulence that there was no way the Romans could have been expected to even think about tolerating Jesus and all the prefects in Palestine and especially Pilate were well known for their appalling barbarity and extreme intolerance (page 368, The Encyclopaedia of Unbelief). And a spiritual king can be more dangerous than a political king for the former claims to be inspired by God. Also the Romans had abolished the Jewish monarchy and to claim to be the Messiah was to claim the Israelite throne (The Myth-Maker, page 37, 1986 Edition, Wiedenfield and Nicholson, London). That of course makes claiming to be the Messiah ten times worse. Why did he not drop or change the title and call himself King of Hearts or something? He couldn’t because he was not that kind of a king but a political Messiah. The Gospels are lying about Jesus being free. This is proof that nearly everything about Jesus in the gospels had to have been made up. Jesus’ popularity shows that he gave no teaching that left the people spellbound and did no miracles. This again eliminates nearly everything written about him. A man who has so much legend about him is not likely to have ever existed.

Jesus said that he had nowhere to lay his head meaning that he had nowhere comfortable to have a sleep (Luke 9). That shows how unpopular he was and that nobody gave a toss about him. He also said that a prophet has no honour among his own country and that he was no exception (John 4:44).

The entry of Jesus into Jerusalem to be welcomed by all its citizens is untrue for days later they were begging for his execution. And Jesus was never anointed as king so how could the people welcome him as king? They would not have hailed him as king for that would guarantee that Rome would destroy their idol and get them into trouble too for welcoming him to Jerusalem. And what about the real king, Herod? Jesus could not be king unless he vanquished him first.

In Luke, we read that King Herod was anxious to meet Jesus. If that is true then Jesus was not well known and hard to pin down. Whoever the king wants to see the king sees – but only if he or she exists. Pilate was as keen and never met him until the trial either. That must have been because there never was a Jesus for them to meet.

If Pilate wanted to save Jesus like the New Testament says then why didn’t he get some witnesses to defend him? Jesus must have been reclusive or a myth when there were none. Why didn’t the Sanhedrin find some pro-Jesus witnesses at least to keep up appearances and have them taken apart by their coached false witnesses?
John 16:3 and Acts 3:17 speak of the leaders not knowing Jesus by spiritual experience meaning who he is so it cannot be said that the gospels purposely contradict themselves on his popularity. The Bible uses know in the ordinary way and know in the sense that God inspires you to know who Jesus is.

The New Testament describes the apostles as very timid men and then it contradicts this by attributing the courage to risk their lives by being at Jesus’ heels all the time to them. The stories of Jesus and his entourage are make-believe.

If Jesus had been so popular then why did Mark, the first gospeller write so little about him? And why did he waste time and ink recording silly parables with morals in them that we all know anyway? Did his imagination go dull on him when he was inventing his saviour? It must have.


Strangely after casting out a demon in public during public worship, Jesus bans any broadcasting of his miracle power in Mark 1:43-44. He cured a leper in that incident. Yet shortly after in Mark 5:18-20 he asks for a miracle to be told. The notion that with the leper it was not practical to have to deal with the interest the miracle would raise - crowds would swarm is strange. Mark says Jesus tortured just after the cure with people crushing around him. It was only a discreet cure of a leper so what brought that on? It is the case that the gospel says Jesus could barely walk with people around him as Matthew 8:18 and Mark 1:45 say. But nothing says Jesus had the problem all the time. Jesus looking for attention before and after urging the leper not to tell is inexplicable. It is best explained by gospels lying about the popularity of Jesus.
If the gospels lied so much about Jesus then he could just as easily have been invented. When you make up a God you have a better chance of promoting him by saying he was once well known. The lies mean nothing in the gospels should be taken as evidence for Jesus. When a person lies a lot it does not mean that all they say is a lie but that all that might not be a lie should be neither believed or disbelieved.

He Walked Among Us (pages 29, 30) claims that there was not much attention paid to Jesus for in those days the secular press ignored miracle stories just like it does today. This is nonsense for the Jews were very religious and such stories would have been enthusiastically demanded as signs that God was going to remove the Romans from Palestine. They were gullible times. People don’t have much interest in religion these days and still there is a high demand for miracle stories but stuff like healing and astrology do get a very prominent place in papers. Anything to do with mental or physical health will always be popular and is destined for the papers if there enough people interested in it. The book claims that the Romans ignored Jesus for he did not attract huge crowds and that gave them no concern. If he did miracles he had to attract them. The book is in conflict with the gospels here which brag about the crowd. The book says that anywhere the people wanted to make a king of Jesus he slipped away. That would have been enough to get him the attention of the Romans. The book will contradict the gospels before it would admit that Jesus’ miracles were shown to be fake by the lack of interest in them.
Is the Christian view that the gospels are justification for Christendom’s beliefs about Christ and its assumption that he existed right?
Some say that when you have the gospel of Mark 15:21 saying that Simon who helped carry the cross of Jesus was the father of Alexander and Rufus and goes into such detail as if to indicate that these people were well known that the gospels are believable (page 101, The Reason for God). But this gospel was written in Rome. Nobody in Rome cared who Simon, Alexander and Rufus were. In fact, the mention of them makes the gospel seem contrived to match what a historian would expect.

Modern scholarship proves that the gospels are unreliable. It exposes the gullibility of the people and the New Testament writers. It exposes their duplicity.  There is plenty on this website to prove that the gospels were hidden which would have boosted the Christian hoax if it were a hoax.
We now know that the Jewish Scriptures reached their final form a long time after Christians would make you believe they were written.  The gospels present Jesus as teaching love your neighbour as yourself and treat others as you would like them to treat you as summaries of the Law and the Prophets despite the fact that these works are full of God’s hatred for unbelievers and his thirst for blood. This might suggest that a legend about a man having lived centuries before when the Law and Prophets were taking shape and were not so violent and nasty and was worked into the gospels.

The Romans did not tolerate anybody who was suspected of being the Messiah like Jesus was full stop, therefore the story of the ministry was entirely made up. It is no use pointing out things that are allegedly marks of authenticity because they match other records or because they seem to have been too shameful to have been invented for an invented history of your grandfather would have the same elements even if it were unintended.

Jesus told lies and made no prophecies of the future that were provably made before the event and the gospels still said he was a true reliable prophet of God. The Jews were falsely accused by Jesus of blasphemy for saying that Satan could be doing exorcisms though Jesus for a mysterious evil purpose. It was false for it was possible.

Nine-tenths of Jesus’ life is omitted from the gospels. Perhaps Jesus did nothing interesting up to his ministry or never talked about it? But he must have ministered to people before his big ministry. So, that is not it. The gospels tend to be quite potty in the information they have selected so is that why they tell us so little? Yes to a large extent though it seems potty books would give some details of his pre-ministry life if it were potty to do so but then when it is potty you never know. We can think that the gospellers always reasoned that it was best to say little about Jesus for he never existed and the less lies told the less chance you have of being caught out. Christians object that they would have described loads of private miracles and portrayed Jesus as not being a public figure if they did but if that had already been done by some with some measure of success which is how inventing fake historical characters starts they would have been able to go a step further and be more daring. It is obvious that they used the reasoning to a large extent too from the material they chose.

It is most likely that the explanation for Jesus’ hidden life is that he never had a life at all. We are not told what Jesus qualifications were for his schooling and training are mysteries to us. We would be if Jesus was the supreme revelation from God. If there had been a Jesus we would be for it would not have been overlooked.

It is argued that if Jesus were an invention he would have been given more impressive credentials. He would have been declared a priest of the line of Aaron, etc. etc. (page 142, Jesus Hypotheses). But most lies are believable anyway. But at the same time, what better or more lofty credentials could one have than to be declared Son of God and king of the Jews and priest and Messiah and supreme prophet allegedly by God himself? It is simply not true that the gospels were restrained in their opinion of Jesus.

It is argued that Nazareth, an unimportant place, is prominent in the gospel story inferring that Jesus must have existed for why single out this place and make it so important that it had to be the base for a Messiah? They will even say that Matthew invented (true) a prophecy to explain this anomaly (false). But obscure or non-existent prophets have to be plotted in out-of-the-way places. You wouldn’t like to say that Jesus was based in Bethlehem or Jerusalem if he never lived. Matthew could have invented the prophecy for hundreds of reasons or perhaps he thought it was in the Bible though it was not. If Nazareth did not exist in those days and might have been an embryonic settlement of Nazarenes, consecrated secretive and loner men, then it was natural to plot Jesus there. There is something wrong when Jesus never visited the neighbouring town of Sepphoris when it was so close and so big and busy and the capital of Galilee. Perhaps there was a mysterious and religious Jesus there and the inventor of Christ just made it out that it was this man he meant though it was not if anybody contradicted his account.

The evangelists might have been afraid to attribute big fancy miracles to Jesus – like turning all the flowers of the Mount of Olives into peacocks – because people would be asking them where his miracle powers are now. Jesus’ miracles may not have included making a new mountain rise out of the ground in a second but they are just as absurd as that in their own way. For example, would God magically wither a fig tree just because Jesus looked for figs on it and found none?

There are few statements in the New Testament which conflict with history or archaeology. When you want your book to be the best chance at becoming irrefutable you will keep it in harmony with history and geography. Even many novelists use real names and real geographical places in their works of fiction to make them more believable and to give the readers a better feel.

The Gospellers were afraid of God. Since God works against lies and errors you have to make what you say as believable as possible and that is what they would have done.

The John Gospel does not have a great structure or planning or selection of data for to be written by one who knew all about Jesus. Yet the very last verse in it says that the information was extremely plentiful. Then why is there so much in the passion narrative that is a duplicate of material in the other gospels? Why does Jesus tend to go on a bit and ramble and be boring, repetitious and vague? Why cannot he have better and more stories about Jesus than he does? The answer is that the Jesus stories were scarce and the gospel had to be padded out with silly or invented ones. And when a famous person has no story that many people can vouch for then that person is a myth. It is no use pointing to characters who are accepted as historical on the testimony of one writer or whatever. That does not prove that there was a Jesus. Believing in a man’s reality is only as good as what evidence exists for or against it. A single witness is believable but not very believable if he or she testifies to somebody existing even when the subject is a believable one.

The Jews were prejudiced against the notion of God becoming man. Christians say that the gospel story that God did this must mean that it is true because Jesus’ witnesses were Jews. This is rubbish. Every religion has its heretics. Jesus fought to root out prejudice. The Old Testament never said that God would never become a man. Real Jews stick to what the scriptures say. And besides Jesus never claimed to be almighty God.
The silence or near-silence of non-biblical writers about Jesus refutes his alleged flavour of the century status. Jesus if he existed was an obscure ordinary man. The evidence for obscure people is usually suspect and it is in this case.

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